Study for U.S. 522 water line extension moves forward

by Trish Rudder

Berkeley Springs Water Works (BSWW), the Town of Bath-owned water department, is seeking professional engineering consulting firms to be considered for a water line extension project along U.S. 522.

Berkeley Springs Water Works.

An advertisement was placed in The Morgan Messenger that the town’s public water system “is accepting Statement of Qualifications from qualified professional engineering consulting firms” that must be submitted by November 19.

According to the ad, the statement needs to detail the firm’s qualifications, technical expertise, management and staffing capabilities, references, and related prior experience for the water line extension.

“The total cost of such project is anticipated to cost $250,000 or more,” the ad states.

“Attention is directed to the fact that the proposed project(s) may be undertaken with a variety of Federal and State funds and that all work will be performed in accordance with the regulations issued by such agencies and the State of West Virginia pertaining thereto,” the ad continued.

The sewer department, Warm Springs Public Service District, has considered extending its lines down U.S. 522 and has said it makes sense for the town’s water department to extend its lines as well.

The extension was publicly requested by business owner Randy Waugh, who owns Waugh Mobile Park, on U.S. 522, several years ago. Extended lines could also serve Caperton Furnitureworks and several other businesses south of the Tractor Supply.

On July 27, the Bath Town Council voted to approve a study to determine if it is feasible for the water lines to be extended down U.S. 522.

Morgan County Commissioner Sean Forney, who also has a business on U.S. 522 and sits on the county’s Economic Development Authority, wants both lines extended to increase business growth. He met with the Water Works and then with the town council in July to move the project forward.

At that meeting, Water Works plant manager, Ron Jainniney said the study would determine if a second water source can be secured.

“We must do a study to know if it is feasible for us,” Jainniney said.

“We have to have another plant out there,” he said.

Bath Mayor Scott Merki had said that he did not want the town’s water source to be impacted and the water rates to its customers increased.

Commissioner Forney said in an email with Bath Councilman Chris Chapman on October 7 that the local advertisements for the study on behalf of the town water department will be paid for by the county. He had said the estimated cost of the preliminary engineering report (PER) is between $15,000 and $35,000, with no cost to be paid by the town.